17 Tips To Master The Important Art Of Stress & Anxiety Management
Introduction to Stress and Anxiety Management
The first step in managing stress is to understand it. For this, you should know the terms interchangeably used for stress. In actuality, they do have differences.
Stress involves mental and physical reactions in highly charged or tense situations and normally subsides as a normal mood returns. It is important to understand that not all stress is bad. The positive or good form of stress is ‘Eustress’ which keeps you excited and motivated about life, for example. We commonly misuse the term “stress” to describe negative effects, which in fact is called ‘Distress‘.
Worry is thinking with apprehensive expectations. It can lead you to a positive solution when appropriately handled otherwise it is more toxic if paralyzes an individual.
Anxiety is the form of distress without any stressor. It is more related to fear of the future, harm to loved ones, and feeling of impending doom. There are several factors that can relate to an anxiety disorder and repeated experiences should be addressed medically.
Common Responses to Stress and Anxiety
- Feelings: Anger, fear, Moodiness, Embarrassment, worry and Guilty
- Thoughts: Negative thoughts, forgetfulness, self-criticism, poor concentration, and feel difficulty in making decisions.
- Symptoms: Stomach distress, appetite, dry mouth, sweating, upset stomach, fatigue, sleep problems, etc.
- Behaviors: Impulsive nature, being irritable all time, taking alcohol or drugs (normally used in avoidance, masking or hiding pain or unresolved issues), crying, smoking, avoiding some people or places.
Tips for Stress and Anxiety Management
The best way to relax and manage stress is to take a deep breath. Slow and rhythmic breathing from the abdomen relieves stress and calms you. When you are stressed your breathing tends to be fast and shallow, so just stop thinking and doing anything, and take a deep breath.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Do stretches and relax your tensed muscles.
Mindfulness means being aware of feelings and thoughts at the moment. Mindfulness thinking avoids negative self-judgments or and overthinking. Don’t judge anyone.
Calm your thoughts and chant OM. It will soothe your distracting mind and guide you to think positively.
Do some Physical Activity
Regular exercise, walking or any physical activity helps in relieving stress, disturbed sleep and mood fluctuations. Start with anything you like doing, like dancing, drawing, reading, or hiking.
Follow A Healthy Diet
Not having a balanced diet may increase the deficiencies of nutrients required to regulate stress and mood, like Vitamin B and magnesium.
Minimize Phone and Screen Time
Smart phones, laptops and tablets are an unavoidable part of our lives but excessive use can increase your stress levels and leads to mental health disorders. In addition, being disconnected from people lowers psychological well-being.
Consider Healthy & Natural Supplements
To cope with the stress levels, your body needs several vitamins and minerals. So add these in your diet in form of supplements. For example, magnesium has shown results in curing chronicle stress.
Do Self Care
Taking time to engage in self-care improves the quality of life and lower stress levels. Go for a walk, read a good book, light up candles, stretch before bed, cook a healthy meal for yourself, and practice a hobby or yoga.
Reduce Caffeine Intake
Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and is found in coffee, chocolate, energy drinks and tea. Consuming too much caffeine can worsen your anxiety. Begin reducing your intake today.
Spend Time With Family and Friends
Social help from family and friends helps to go through stressful situations. If you are feeling alone, visit your family or friends. If you don’t have anyone to visit, ask for help from social support groups.
Learn to say No
Putting too much on your plate and addressing all expectations of people will lead you to more stress – distress. Be selective about what you want to take on. Be ok with saying “No”.
Procrastination can affect your productivity and increase stress. It negatively impacts your sleep quality and health as well.
Spend Time In Nature
Spending time in parks, and mountains can help you to manage stress. Hiking and camping are also great options. You can even practice meditation in the lap of nature for better relief.
Spend Time With Your Pet
Having a pet can improve your mood and distract your mind from the problems or stress you are facing. When you touch your pet, your body releases the oxytocin hormone that leads to a positive mood.
Help Other People
Helping others will give you more motivation and confidence that you are worthy and deserve happiness. Moreover, when you connect with people, you may understand how they are suffering in their lives, give you perspective and even an opportunity to help them.
Consider Medical Treatment
If you have practiced every way of managing stress and anxiety but not getting any relief, visiting your doctor for medical treatment. Don’t hesitate. Mental health is equally important and needs a doctor just like your physical health.
Stress is an unavoidable part of life but you should know the ways to manage it for a healthy life. Most importantly, you should not wait or expect anyone else to do something to relieve your stress. It’s your life, your body and your mind be responsible for it and make your life better. Do whatever you like walking, running, travelling, dancing, singing, painting. Just do and love yourself!
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